Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jon Corzine's Lyndie England: Back Office Staff

MF Global CEO Jon Corzine's story evolved over time.  Days ago Corzine claimed to be so big picture that he didn't know his firm was imploding.  Today he offered another version, telling lawmakers:

"the firm’s back-office staff 'explicitly' informed him that fund transfers made before the company filed for bankruptcy were legal."

When did back office staff become lawyers and judges?   What did MF Global's compliance officer say?  How about their board?

The Board has responsibility for providing direction and oversight for management of the Company’s business and affairs, establishing the Company’s long-term objectives and strategy while overseeing the Company’s business performance and management, including risk management. The Company’s enterprise risk management approach flows from the Board, which determines the Company’s risk appetite, and permeates through the Company via a culture that expects all employees to function as risk managers. This approach involves a strong governance structure that clearly defines responsibilities, delegated authorities for risk control as well as risk-taking and documented policies designed to identify, measure, control and mitigate risk.

Blame flows downhill, but it might not stick.